Passenger Tracks Luggage to Airport Worker's Home

Fired employee is now charged with theft
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2024 10:45 AM CDT
Updated Jun 9, 2024 7:20 AM CDT
Passenger Tracks Missing Bag to Airport Worker's House
A JetBlue plane, left, passes a Spirit plane as it taxis on the runway on July 7, 2022, at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

An airport employee in Florida has been charged with felony theft after a passenger tracked her stolen luggage to the employee's house. After her March 3 flight out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was canceled, university student Paola Garcia was told to pick up her checked bag on a baggage carousel. But the bag containing a MacBook, iPad, Apple Watch, and jewelry didn't turn up. Spirit Airlines claimed it was sent to Garcia's house, but it didn't turn up there, either. That's when Garcia tried to track down the bag on her own, per CNN. She pinged her devices, which were shown at an address a short distance from the airport, according to an affidavit.

Garcia visited the property, where she discovered "several pieces of luggage in the front of the home," per the affidavit. She then called 911. "The first thing ... the police told me is, 'What are you doing here? This is so dangerous for you to be here,'" she tells WPLG. The Broward County Sheriff's Office identified the resident as Junior Geneus Bazile, 29, an employee at the airport's Paradies Lagardere Travel Retail store, who'd been at work the day Garcia's pink shell roller bag disappeared, the affidavit said. Indeed, CCTV footage from the store showed Bazile rolling a pink shell bag into a storage room before removing a MacBook and other items, the affidavit said.

"Immediately upon learning of the incident, this employee was terminated," a rep for Paradies Lagardere tells WPLG. Bazile was also arrested and charged with grand theft, a third-degree felony. He's pleaded not guilty and posted $30,000 bond. During an interview, his mother allegedly struck a WPLG reporter, who declined to press charges, according to the outlet. She claimed police found "nothing in my house." Police said Bazile appeared to have gotten rid of many of Garcia's belongings before he was discovered with other luggage. Spirit Airlines, meanwhile, said it "issued a reimbursement check to the guest as a courtesy." (More Florida stories.)

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